Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist December 2015 Contents Australian Pharmacist December 2015 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
Dermatologists believe pharmacists are the main contributor of
misinformation 'leading to topical corticosteroid (TCS) phobia' according to
survey results published in the Australasian Journal of Dermatology.1
The survey of 198 practising Fellows of
the Australian College of Dermatologists
assessed the attitudes toward the safety
of TCS in treating paediatric atopic
dermatitis (pAD). A total of 75% of
respondents strongly agreed that that
TCS do not cause skin atrophy when
used appropriately and under clinical
supervision, and 77% agreed or strongly
agreed that the words 'use sparingly'
should be removed from pharmacist
labels on TCS prescriptions.
The results reflect the contents of the
Adverse effects of corticosteroids in
paediatric eczema: Australian Consensus
Statement which says that: 'TCS are often
underutilised by many parents due to
corticosteroid phobia and unfounded
concerns about their adverse effects.'2
Sydney-based community pharmacy
owner Nick Logan said the often quoted
'use sparingly' advice was unfounded
but still deep-seated among some
'Unfortunately it doesn't matter how
many dermatologists call for it to
be removed; it won't be removed
from dispensing software unless the
product information changes,' he told
The Australian Pharmaceutical Formulary
and Handbook, 23rd Edition, says that:
'in the view of the British Dermatology
Working Group, advising patients to
apply topical corticosteroid preparations
"sparingly" or "thinly" contributes to
"steroid phobia" which can increase
the risk of a poor clinical response and
treatment failure. Evidence suggests
that the risk of harm from topical
steroids of mild to moderate potency
Mr Logan said blaming pharmacists for
corticosteroid phobia was 'a bit unfair
because far and away the biggest
purveyors of TCS phobia are family and
friends, second are pharmacists and
third are GPs.
'Twenty years ago people were paranoid
about TCS and but is vast amounts
of evidence to show that when used
appropriately they are very safe and
effective. The consensus statement
is spot on. There is no doubt that
corticosteroid phobia is affecting
people's ability to adhere to the
directions and manage their atopic
dermatitis,' Mr Logan said.
Mr Logan said that TCS provide a
good opportunity to coordinate
'It's a really good opportunity for
doctors to be more precise with their
directions so that they prescribe a
quantity, a frequency and duration for
TCS. The pharmacist can then reinforce
[with the patient] exactly how the
doctor wants them to use it.
'Every pharmacist should be able to
describe a fingertip unit. The consumers
love that kind of total patient care and it
is professionally satisfying too.
'At the end of the day, whether you're
a dermatologist, GP or pharmacist,
you want the best possible health
outcomes for your patient. Evidence
shows us that the correct application
of TCS is a core component of therapy
in children affected by atopic eczema,'
Mr Logan said.
1. Smith SD, Lee A, Blaszczynski A, Fischer G. Attitudes of
Australian dermatologists to the use and safety of topical
corticosteroids in paediatric atopic dermatitis. Australas J
Dermatol. Sep 22 2015. doi: 10.1111/ajd.12402.
2. Mooney E, Rademaker M, Dailey R, et al. Adverse effects of
topical corticosteroids in paediatric eczema: Australasian
consensus statement. The Australasian College of
Dermatologists, 2015; doi: 10.1111/ajd.12313.
3. Sansom LN, Ed. Australian Pharmaceutical Formulary and
Handbook, 23rd Edn. Canberra Pharmaceutical Society of
Blooms' strategic partner
Blooms The Chemists, named Apotex
as its Strategic Partner of the Year at the
group's 2015 Pharmacy Awards held in
Hong Kong on 26 October.
The award was presented to Apotex
for establishing a strong alignment
with Blooms The Chemist's Brand and
According to Blooms The Chemist's
CEO, Phil Smith, this year's Strategic
Partner of the Year award was the most
competitive to date, and afforded due
recognition to the strong partnership
that Apotex has forged with the Blooms
'Forging a strategic alignment with
each of our partners is critical to our
success. Performing business together,
in a flexible and productive manner,
sets each party up for sustainable
growth,' Mr Smith said.
'Apotex has performed exceptionally
well across the key areas of logistics
and supply. The company with its
ApoWellness clinics has played an
integral role in assisting Blooms The
Chemist to deliver our positioning as the
First Call Pharmacy Professionals.'
The Pharmacy of The Year, award was
won by Blooms The Chemist, Forestville,
for its achievement of an above
average customer service score, a Net
Profit Increase (NPI) of exceptional
proportions and its extremely high level
of brand engagement.
Other awards presented, included:
• The Retail Award,
Blooms The Chemist, Kingsford, NSW.
• The Dispensary Award,
Blooms The Chemist, Roselands.
• The Customer Service Award,
Blooms The Chemist, Padstow, NSW.
• The Productivity Award,
Blooms The Chemist, Forestville.
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